Rotary Action logo by Mike Pepper utility helicopter A GUIDE TO HELICOPTERS  
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Bell 206 in Towering Inferno

The Towering Inferno (1974) - Irwin Allen's disaster movie has choppers used in attempts to rescue party guests from a burning skyscraper.

In this Hollywood movie's first sequence, there's a Bell 206B JetRanger II (painted orange with a 'Duncan Enterprises' logo), flying just above the west-coast shoreline, passing mountain forests, and over the Golden Gate bridge, before entering the city's air-space and landing on the rooftop helipad of a new skyscraper named the Glass Tower, the tallest building in the world. Paul Newman gets out of the helicopter, and it promptly takes off again.
JetRanger helicopter in Towering Inferno

San Francisco helicopter in Towering Inferno
urban helicopter flight in Towering Inferno

Towering Inferno helicopter artwork
When the building is on fire, military chiefs send a blue Huey to airlift some party guests from the rooftop helipad, but a panic causes the pilot to abort landing, at the very last second, so the helicopter veers aside and crashes into a top edge of the building, destroying itself with an explosion.

rescue helicopter in Towering Inferno
Twin Huey in Towering Inferno

Bell 212 in Towering Inferno
For the second rotary action sequence, a Bell 212 Twin Huey (from the US Navy air station at Lemoore) fires a zip-line and ropes into the building to help firemen rig up a 'breeches buoy' chair-lift, that's used to carry people trapped in the Glass Tower off to safety, landing on the rooftop of a neighbouring building.

Towering Inferno airborne rescue

The best helicopter sequence sees the heroic fire-fighter (Steve McQueen) carried, on the Twin Huey's cable hoist, from the nearby rooftop onto the Glass Tower's damaged lift - an external scenic elevator loaded with passengers.

The fireman cuts through the lift's cables so that the helicopter can safely lower the broken lift's carriage down to the street.

The last flight of the Bell 212 gets the hero up onto the Glass Tower's burning rooftop, where he plants explosives to blow apart water tanks and douse all the fires on every floor.
Towering Inferno publicity photo